Category Theory for Scientists

A diagram with various thoughts written on shapes connected by arrows.

An example of an olog—an abstract means for categorizing the general properties of a system. In this example, the olog provides a conceptual understanding of the system of seat pricing on an airline. (Image by MIT OpenCourseWare.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2013



Cite This Course

Course Features

Course Description

The goal of this class is to prove that category theory is a powerful language for understanding and formalizing common scientific models. The power of the language will be tested by its ability to penetrate into taken-for-granted ideas, either by exposing existing weaknesses or flaws in our understanding, or by highlighting hidden commonalities across scientific fields.

David Spivak. 18.S996 Category Theory for Scientists, Spring 2013. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

For more information about using these materials and the Creative Commons license, see our Terms of Use.